The Jerusalem Post Israeli newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated during internal government discussions that ‘if there is a courageous Palestinian leadership’ he would be interested in a permanent peace deal, not a temporary agreement. He added that his plan is to have an agreement on a Palestinian state with provisional borders.

Netanyahu also said that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, should be part of this deal even though he declared he would not remain in his post.

The Israeli Prime Minister further stated that in 1971 nobody imagined that the then Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, would make peace with Israel. He added that it is still too early to have ‘president Abbas out of the picture’.

Furthermore, Netanyahu’s office declared that he was about to issue an order to freeze settlement activities for ten months as an incentive to the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiations table.

Yet, a source at Netanyahu’s office said that Netanyahu’s plan to temporarily freeze settlements activities does not include Jerusalem, and does not include constructions “that serve normal livelihood of the settlers”.